Monday, June 1, 2015

Nikolai Gogol, "The Nose"

31 comments:

FreeThinke said...

Flash Player dead for the umpteenth time this year. Will soon be buried. I can't put up with the ceaseless manipulation anymore. I'd rather do without.

Sorry. I'm going back to Radio, TV, pencil, pen and paper.

Relying solely on the written word will just have to do. Better for us anyway.

Cheerio!

Gert said...

FT:

I appreciate and share your concerns about the ‘infantilisation’ of society but don’t throw away the child with the bathwater: this video (and music) e.g. is great.

So Google your problem and solve it, please. :-)

Gert said...

O/T:

Neoliberal journalism

The authors call for the creation of an “internationally recognized ratings system for disinformation” that would furnish news organizations and bloggers with the “analytical tools with which to define forms of communication.” While they throw in an obligatory caveat that “top-down censorship should be avoided” (exactly how is left unexplained), they nonetheless endorse what amounts to a media blacklist. “Vigorous debate and disagreement is of course to be encouraged,” the authors write, “but media organizations that practice conscious deception should be excluded from the community.”

What qualifies as “conscious deception” is also left undefined, but it isn’t difficult to surmise. Organizations that do not share the authors’ enthusiasm for regime change in Syria or war with Russia over Ukraine would almost certainly be “excluded from the community.” Weiss, for instance, has asserted repeatedly that Russia is to blame for the July 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. But would a news organization like, say, The Atlantic or Der Spiegel be “excluded from the community” for writing about a German intelligence report that indicated the missile in question did not come from Russia? Would journalists like Robert Parry be blacklisted for questioning the mainstream account of the tragedy? Would scholars like the University of Ottawa’s Paul Robinson be banned from appearing on op-ed pages and cable-news programs for challenging the notion that there is, in the words of Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, “no civil war in Ukraine,” but rather a war “started and waged by Russia”?

Thersites said...

I didn't know that RT was Russian owned. Thanks.

Gert said...

It is. And it's quite pro-Russia. But dingbats like Anne Applebaum would have you believe her shit is somehow 'objective'. It's not.

There's also RussiaInsider.com. New.

-FJ said...

After a course of Zizek, one must call into question all but Kant's definition of "objectivity". ;)

I've see a lot of reports on Venezuela with the RT imprint. They must be trying to compete with the BBC World Service.

-FJ said...

ps - What do you think of the 'apparently' 'Old' Russian Critique of Zizek? It's interesting to me... as they see him as a pawn of 'Authoritarians', and so, accuse him of "Narcissism". That must be the worst insult you can make about a self-avowed communist.

Gert said...

It must be great to be a shill for either DC/Brussels or Moscow. It pays well, you get the accolades (‘attaboy!’), you get to feel Righteous and if you end up believing your own shit, who’ll drag you away from your self-made ‘reality’? A couple of alter-media bloggers? Pfff… just tell’m ‘do you know who I am?’

“Zizek is Monster”. Crikey, they haven’t moved on from Soviet propaganda much, have they? Declare those you disagree with ‘mentally ill’, psychoanalysis as ‘bourgeois decadence’, it’s all still there!

-FJ said...

I liked the way that they immersed their "refutation" in cinematic references. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

Gert said...

I don't really know where this Russian need to demonise old Slavoj comes from. Is he really such a powerful critic of Moscow? On Ukraine/Donbas e.g. he seems rather even handed.

Gert said...

They see him as a 'pawn of Authoritarians'? I didn't watch that vid to the end, so maybe I missed that bit. And there's a part II as well, I'm told.

Gert said...

Oh and dragging Ron Hubbard into it, that was kind of priceless! I wonder whether he was some kind of Soviet symbol of Western/US nuttiness. Not entirely w/o grounds, in a sense...

-FJ said...

Yes it's a four parter. The author wrote a book... let me see if I can find it. It speaks "volumes" as to his perspective.

-FJ said...

I can't find the actual book, which translates to either "Obscene Enjoyment" or "Obscene Pleasure" depending upon your Russian, but the narrator/author is Andrey Maklakov. I don't know if he wrote this, but the 'motive' would appear to be Ukrainian/ Russian politics.

-FJ said...

Since Zizek's thesis is that the post-modern era mandates "Enjoyment" and that Superego is "obscene", I would think that the author and Zizek would have much in common, but apparently, not.

-FJ said...

Yes, he did write it.

-FJ said...

The translation didn't come through in the link above... but the Maklakov explains his movie in it.

Gert said...

Thanks for looking that up. Idea for bumper sticker: ‘Zizek Rocks, Maklakov Sucks!’

In a recent interview Chris Hedges opined that the ‘reaction’ to neoliberalism could go either way, that a Rightwing ‘revolution’ could also be a possible outcome. In Europe, the rise of various Far Right parties is a concern to me because I think these could be all to easily co-opted (‘bought’) into neoliberal schemes.

Where in the US ‘Right’ spectrum do you see concerns about neoliberalism? I see [i]some[/i] libertarians and the Teabaggers who rejected the ‘bail out’. Who am I missing?

-FJ said...

You have a valid fear, in that Neoliberalism has a long history of co-opting social movements, as we now realize that '68 resulted in an "interpassive" cultural capitalism and pretty effectively split the New and old Left along generational lines.

As for the Right, I think that a lot of the old authoritarian and traditionally conservative "Nationalists" are moving closer towards neo-liberal ideals, as they benefit substantially from the accumulation of capital and efficiencies derived through unification of markets. "Oligarchs" world-wide benefit from it, as they institutionalize their preferred common-market positions through "Secret" trade agreements like the TPP.

It's the former bourgeois and traditional "middle" classes that are waking up and beginning to oppose neoliberalism, as they begin to realize just how "discretionary" and "disposable" their own existance has become to the oligarchy. They are in a very vulnerable position, as they do not control the products of their labour, and in more and more cases, their labour is being "off-shored" to even more desperate but educated foreigners (ie - the Chinese). Their dislike of "immigrants" is a bit misdirected though, as their jobs aren't being threatened by recent immigrants as much as the off-shoring agreements being enshrined through international law and diplomacy. I suspect that those in power secretly encourage this misperception so as to be able to label them all as bigots and prejudiced thugs.

-FJ said...

As for "who" you are missing on the Right, the much maligned "paleo-conservatives" were "early adopters" of protectionist trade policies. Pat Buchanon ran as a third party candidate in 2000 and briefly joined with the Progressives to run against Bush. I, myself, voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, in an attempt to build a bigger coalition. But Buchanan has since supported both Bush and Romney. I think he's a bit "muddled" as to exactly "who" the enemy is (Big Capital).

-FJ said...

Nativism doesn't make much sense when you have open-trade across borders.

-FJ said...

It only makes sense when both "products" and "people" have difficulting crossing borders.

-FJ said...

...and the underlying "promise" of America was always in her Preamble...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Gert said...

Nothing to disagree there. Perhaps one thing to add. ‘Grass roots’ Conservatives seem prone to vote against their economic interests in the name of ‘Freedom!’. See e.g. ‘the right to work for less’ which is supported by people who don’t understand the issue but believe they have to support the idea because not doing so would be ‘socialistic’.

UKIP’s Nigel Farage is in favour of curtailing free movement of people but not of goods, services or capital. That’s a recipe for further employment disasters: you either ‘go nativist’ and curtail both or curtail neither.

Going ‘nativist’ would be something I need to adjust my head set for, though. ;-)

Of course it’s easy to get ‘muddled’. ‘New Communism’ really is anti-click bait for the uninitiated!

-FJ said...

Hey, corporations are just "socialism writ small". You don't have to convince me about a lot of muddled thinking being prevalent on both Left AND Right. ;)

-FJ said...

I suppose we're all just a bit over-invested in "simplifying" labels.

Gert said...

I suppose we're all just a bit over-invested in "simplifying" labels.

You'd have thought that in this 'post-ideological' era we'd have learned to attach less gravity to 'Left/Right'.

But this era is more ideological than ever before, I think...

-FJ said...

No argument, here.

Gert said...

A starbucks coffee beats a can of coke, ideologically. But an empty can of coke in a recycling bin trumps both!

-FJ said...

...unless you drank your Starbucks coffee from a reusable cup, of course. :P

Cultural capitalist! Get thee to a 'B' Corporation! ;)

Gert said...

Starbucks really is a great example: all that replicated 'cosiness'! That really takes some 'global' cynicism. I bet they have a manual the size of a telephone directory to achieve that 'global bohemian' look too!